Monday, September 21, 2015

09/19/15 Elias' Baptism

Hey everybody!

This week was great!  Sounds like BYU is off to a good start and that everyone is in "cool down" mode from after the wedding.  I hope that everything continues great and that everything is well with the family.

Today my companion and I went to get some food for lunch, and it was delicious.  But afterwards we were on our way back when all of a sudden the biggest rainstorm ever started!  It was really heavy rain and the wind was yanking our umbrellas every which way.  Within minutes the roads were flooded and we were walking in ankle-deep water back to the office.  Right now we are trying to dry off a little bit before we head out to the storm again.  Gotta love that Costa Rica rain!

Yesterday was a great day!  Elías got baptized!  We were super happy for him and the decision he made to be baptized!  He has come a long way and he is great!  Elías comes each week to wash the mission cars and while here he has gotten to know President quite well.  So he wanted President Hayes at his baptism and wanted him to baptize him!  It was so great!  Before the service President mentioned that the last time he had been the baptizer in a service was 20 years ago and it took place in the Jordan River when he was living in Jerusalem.  Really cool!  

The baptism was very interesting because there were very few active members there.  The entire room was filled with less-active members and investigators.  It was a great service and we hope that the spirit touch the hearts of the less-actives and investigators.  The best part about the service was that afterwards we were invited over to Hermana Flor's house for a special dinner that she had prepared for us.  She is Elías's grandmother and somebody that we have been working with to reactivate.  The dinner was called "mondongo"  or in english, cow intestine soup.  Now, the experience wasn't all bad, I learned some things as I conquered the mondongo.  I learned that intestine is very chewy and that my gag reflex still works.  But really though, one side was very spongy and on the other side you could see the little hair-like things that line the intestines to keep the food moving along the digestive tract.  It was quite the experience.  She is talking about how she wants to prepare us pig hoof and leg for next week, so wish me luck haha.
This week we found some great families!  One of the families is now living in the house where we went to teach a family that moved a while ago.  There is something about that house and accepting the missionaries.  They were very interested and let us in and wanted to talk.  In Costa Rica, the church plays commercials on TV all of the time. So this family had all of the church commercials memorized and they just wanted to know more about what we believe.  They are great.  We found another family this week and it is large.  They are from Nicaragua and about 12 people live in their little house.  We are excited to teach them and they are interested as well.  

Oscar and Martha are doing great!  They were at the baptism yesterday and they were happy.  Little by little they are working on their addictions.  We are working hard with them and pass by every night for at least five minutes to see how they are doing with their addictions, to sing a hymn, and to pray. They are now praying each morning and night together for strength to overcome their addictions and I know that they can do it!

The work is great!  I am so grateful to work in this part of the Lord's vineyard.  The priesthood authority of God has been restored upon the face of the Earth.  Through that authority families can be forever!  How great is our message!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Mejor el mondongo en salsa que el mondongo en sopa."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Photos I never sent from La Rita

09.12.15 Service on the Mount

Hey everybody!

From what I hear everything is going great!  The wedding sounds like it was amazing and I can't wait to see the photos.  And it sounds like everyone is going to be traveling quite a bit for the next little bit!  I hope you all have fun!

This week was great.  We had a really exciting experience this week.  A companionship of Elders called this week from La Loma, a ward located in Desamparados, not too far from the office.  They said that they needed our help because one of their investigators was getting thrown out of their house and hadn't eaten for two days because her husband is incapacitated from cancer.  They needed us to take the truck and help them to move houses.  So we rounded up some good food and hopped in the pickup and headed out to La Loma.  We came to find out that this family lived on the top of the mountain.  San José is located in a valley and surrounded by mountains, and they were at the top.  So I started getting a little nervous because we were driving the brand new mission truck up the mountain on really small, beat up roads.  At some points I was amazed that roads could even be that steep.  So we got to their house and began to load their things into the truck.  This was all happening while the landlord was verbally abusing her and trying to tell us how terrible of a person she was.  Finally we got the first load strapped down and we were heading down the mountain on the tiny streets, trying not to get hit by the buses.  She was moving to the top of the other side of the mountain.  So we started up with the load of things.  The entire time I was completely nervous that the entire load was going to fall right out of the back as we scaled the mountain.  It was like mount crumpet!  The very last house at the very top was where she was going to live.  It didn't help either that everybody was telling us to be careful because it isn't a very safe place.  So after two more loads we had successfully passed the house.  Truthfully, I thought it was a lot of fun, but it was really edifying to see how much she appreciated it.  She started to tell us about her life, and it made me really grateful for my family and my country.  She was in tears to see that somebody came to help her in her time of great need.

This week I took missionaries from Argentina, Panama, and Mexico to their respective embassies and got a lot of good work done in the office.  This coming week is really full too!

Our investigators are doing really well and we are happy to see their progress.  Martha is doing a lot better that before with drinking.  We will be visiting them tonight to give them support.  Elias's baptism was moved to next week so we hope that all goes well with that!  Elder Nielson and I are super happy and we are seeing the Lord's hand often in our lives and in the lives of the investigators. 

Love you all and hope a week of éxito!

Elder Nelson

Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Subamos, pues, al monte"

09.05.15 The Ninth Wheel

Hey everybody!

Conner is getting married today!  You are the best!  I love you so much and hope that it is a day that you will never forget!  I wish I could be there with you, but the Lord needs me here and that is perfectly fine with me.  This morning when I woke up it dawned on me that I am now the ninth wheel of the family!  You've got Mom and Dad, Zach and Karli, Nate and Kelly, Conner and Claire, and Tan Dawg.  Hopefully one day we can make this training wheel into a ten wheeler haha.

This week was another changes week.  We were really busy and tired all week, but we made it without any problems.  We went to the airport at 2:30 in the morning twice this week.  I'm starting to think there has got to be a limit to how many times someone can wake up at 2:30 to go to the airport on their mission haha.  I don´t know what it could be, but it looks like I still haven't hit that limit so all is well!  President changed around the schedule of changes this time so it took us a little bit of getting used to but we figured it out and I think in the long run the changes were good.  

Last Sunday there was a meeting for all of the stake presidents and stake secretaries in the Seminary and Institute building.  President asked us to attend to represent the Rio Claro District.  It was very interesting to learn all about how the stakes function and it was a great experience.  Later that night, we took the Burts with us to a lesson with Oscar and Martha.  Sister Burt is a convert to the gospel and had many similar difficulties when the missionaries began to teach her family.  She doesn't speak Spanish, so we translated for her and it was great!  The Spirit was strong.  Then they asked Elder Burt if he would give them blessing to overcome their addictions.  It was a great lesson and we are very happy to see the progress that they are having.  

Elias continues doing very well!  Yesterday he had his baptismal interview and he passed.  We are planning his baptism for this week and we couldn't be more happy to see the progress that he has made.  Through his example, his grandmother has been reactivated and the rest of the family is warming back up the the missionaries.  

This week I went on divisions twice to other areas!  It was so weird!  I haven't been on divisions in a different area for seven and a half months!  It was really good to get out and be kind of like a normal missionary again.  On Tuesday I went to Tres Rios with Elder Saavedra from Colombia and yesterday I was with Elder Gonzalez from Guatemala in Paso Ancho.  It was fun to talk with them and get to know them better.  I learned a lot from both areas and the investigators that we taught.

This week we also received an amazing reference from a member.  She had been attending church for quite a while before but stopped going and stopped investigating the church.  We received the reference from her family members and she is completely receive the gospel now.  It is funny how each person has a time to receive the gospel.  Not every person that we teach will be ready right away, but the Lord has a way of working on them over time until they become ready.

I love you all tons!  Un abrazo!

Elder Nelson

"Su camion solo tiene nueve ruedas, me parece raro."